Resultant to the intrigues that threw up the present leadership of the Benue State House of Assembly the Deputy Speaker, Hon James Okefe is reportedly on the run following serious threats to his life.
According to information available to persecond news, Hon Okefe who represents Okpokwu state constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was the deal breaker that led to last Fridays emergence of Hon Terkimbi Ikyange, an APC member, as the speaker in the PDP-dominated Assembly.
The APC is in the minority in the House with 14 members as against PDP’s 15 members and Labour Party’s one member, and just as the challenge of producing an APC speaker mounted, the Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom showed his political dexterity which proved to be the difference.
His Excellency Governor Ortom had given approval to his Deputy, Engr Benson Abounu to do whatever it took to get the support of the Idoma PDP members as there is only one APC member from Zone C (Benue south) in the House of Assembly.
Hon Okefe, an APC sympathiser himself is said to have been in a long standing business relationship with the Deputy Governor’s son, Dr Abounu Abounu, a Consultant Physician based in London. It is rumoured that Dr Abounu gave James Okefe the necessary backing to clinch the PDP ticket on the provision that the latter will decamp to the APC. Dr Abounu is also said to be involved in James Okefe’s micro finance bank, to mention but a few.
Hon Okefe was therefore bound to vote for the APC candidate due to this chronic involvement with the Abounus, and haven being offered the position of the deputy speaker which the governor also consented to, his deal for APC Speakership was sealed.
With the Governor conceding the Head of Service to Igede land it was easy to woo the two PDP assembly members from there to vote for the APC candidate. With three PDP votes in their kitty, APC easily cruised to victory amassing 17 votes out of 30.
All these have not gone down well with some who felt betrayed by Hon Okefe’s actions while others have viewed those events as part of politics and moved on. In any case, persecond news gathered that the deputy speaker is currently under heavy guard and has been moved into Government House as there are fears for his safety.